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OTA Spectrum Uncertainty & Your Plans

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
With all the uncertainty as to when and how much of the current TV broadcast spectrum may or may not be lost to the cell phone industry, what are your OTA plans especially if your current reception is sub-optimal?
post #2 of 31
I don't think much if any damage will come to broadcast TV after such little time after the DTV Transition. They will wise up and realize not to mess up something after so much money was just spent upgrading it. The public will not stand for it.

I still depend on DVDs and streaming internet video to go along with OTA.
post #3 of 31
If OTA TV does get channels chopped off again, & results in fewer choices, I'll more than likely just rely on DVD's & internet, just because pay TV is way too expensive. I will consider a C-Band satellite if I can get my own house, or settle for a Ku-band satellite. Besides, there isn't as much I even like on TV to watch it as much, & pay the outrageous price for channels I will never watch. Youtube to me has more entertaining stuff than most of the stuff that's on TV (pay or free OTA TV).
post #4 of 31
Even though the Feds want frequencies back to auction to telecommunications companies, there is no political will, especially in this economy, to take OTA channels away from the public or put them through another technology change.

The digital TV transition had to be postponed three times because of public objections.

And in the current economy, the numbers seem to show (although it's hard to find exact numbers) that cable/satellite companies are actually losing customers as customers do without or simply watch their favorite shows on the web.

So while there may be some channel reallocations, which should not affect current antennas since current stations are already split between VHF and UHF, I doubt very much that any channels will be lost (except possibly from some very minor independents who take the Fed money and run) even though the vast majority of U.S. households still get their signals via cable or satellite.

If the Feds tried this now, Republicans would scream that the current administration is trying to kill free television. It's simply not worth the political battle to push for this.
post #5 of 31
The poll is missing a choice. To Hell with expensive LD smartphones! When I go on the internet I want an HD display that is considered too big to be mobile. All I need a cheap cell phone for is to make phone calls.
post #6 of 31
I can see them cutting OTA down to channel 36 instead of 30. I think they are starting to realize that giving channels 31-51 to mobile won't work because of channel 37. Channels 31-36 in of themselves would be useless. If the FCC allows higher power limits on hi-VHF( and it stations actually use them ) and with improvements recievers perhaps Hi-VHF can be more useful for DTV. But I don't expect this to happen for 4 or 5 years at least.
post #7 of 31
I would be tempted to begin a class-action lawsuit against the federal government asking for them to pay for all labor and material costs associated with changing my equipment so that I have the same reception that I now have.

If they will pay all costs for the changeover and collect the needed monies via a tax to the telecoms who purchase the spectrum, then I am OK with it.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by willscary View Post

I would be tempted to begin a class-action lawsuit against the federal government asking for them to pay for all labor and material costs associated with changing my equipment so that I have the same reception that I now have.

If they will pay all costs for the changeover and collect the needed monies via a tax to the telecoms who purchase the spectrum, then I am OK with it.

a tax the telecoms will pass onto their customers and/or get from their employees in lower wages and/or benfits and/or layoffs.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave73 View Post

Besides, there isn't as much I even like on TV to watch it as much, & pay the outrageous price for channels I will never watch. Youtube to me has more entertaining stuff than most of the stuff that's on TV (pay or free OTA TV).

Seconded! I could watch Youtube and DVDs all day.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Based on the early poll results, a clear majority, ~64%, plan to keep their current gear as long as possible (choice #3).

1.) For those who selected choice #3, do you currently have satisfactory or sub-optimal reception?


2.) For those who currently have sub-optimal reception, what are your OTA plans?
post #11 of 31
I do subscribe to Dish, but alot of my local network viewing is OTA (SD Sat VS HD OTA). If it comes to it - just keep watching SAT...
post #12 of 31
Quote:


Wait until everything has been decided to purchase any new equipment

I thought that's what I did by waiting till the digital transition was complete before buying and setting up my current system

The way it's going I expect the FCC will just sell off all the viable frequencies to the cell carriers and special interests and there will be no more OTA TV at all... there's no money in it for them from free TV'ers
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

a tax the telecoms will pass onto their customers and/or get from their employees in lower wages and/or benfits and/or layoffs.

So? What you are saying is that I should feel sorry for other people and should simply pay for free TV upgrades or changes AGAIN simply so rich telecoms and their not so rich employees can make more money. That is poor logic.

Perhaps you should pay for my new antenna system. Then the entities that you speak of will not suffer and neither will I. It's a win/ win for all of us and you can feel good about it.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

I can see them cutting OTA down to channel 36 instead of 30. I think they are starting to realize that giving channels 31-51 to mobile won't work because of channel 37. Channels 31-36 in of themselves would be useless. If the FCC allows higher power limits on hi-VHF( and it stations actually use them ) and with improvements recievers perhaps Hi-VHF can be more useful for DTV. But I don't expect this to happen for 4 or 5 years at least.

The only way VHF is going to work for most people, is with rooftop, outdoor antennas. Maybe the FCC should do what I said years ago, at the beginning of the Digital Transition....
Modify the OTARD rules, to allow people to install antennas ANY PLACE they need to, to get reliable reception...even if it's on the roof of a condo or apartment building. (That would encourage building owners to go with a common antenna for all).
Require that all new construction, and all re-modeling over a certain amount, include an antenna system on MDU's of, say, four units or more.
They are already requiring such things as cell-phone repeaters in new building construction, so why not include the only reliable alternative people have....broadcast?
post #15 of 31
What a wonderful idea ! That would also help them get something if they don't want to pay for cable.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by willscary View Post

So? What you are saying is that I should feel sorry for other people and should simply pay for free TV upgrades or changes AGAIN simply so rich telecoms and their not so rich employees can make more money. That is poor logic.

Perhaps you should pay for my new antenna system. Then the entities that you speak of will not suffer and neither will I. It's a win/ win for all of us and you can feel good about it.

A) What is your issue? I'm not so sure why you are angry at ME.

B ) I'm just stating FACT. If big corporations get a tax bill they will pass that cost on. That just factual. You may not like it but it's reality.

So cut it with the attitude.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

The only way VHF is going to work for most people, is with rooftop, outdoor antennas. Maybe the FCC should do what I said years ago, at the beginning of the Digital Transition....
Modify the OTARD rules, to allow people to install antennas ANY PLACE they need to, to get reliable reception...even if it's on the roof of a condo or apartment building. (That would encourage building owners to go with a common antenna for all).
Require that all new construction, and all re-modeling over a certain amount, include an antenna system on MDU's of, say, four units or more.
They are already requiring such things as cell-phone repeaters in new building construction, so why not include the only reliable alternative people have....broadcast?

All I'm saying is if you think OTA will still go all the way up to channel 51 ten years from now that's just fantasy talk. If OTA goes down to 36 or especially 30 some stations will have no choice but to use hi-VHF.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

All I'm saying is if you think OTA will still go all the way up to channel 51 ten years from now that's just fantasy talk. If OTA goes down to 36 or especially 30 some stations will have no choice but to use hi-VHF.

The FCC wants stations to use VHF-Lo as well (not just VHF-Hi). So it comes down to the current FCC's plan to force stations onto the VHF (2-13) so the UHF could be used for AT&T & Verizon to warehouse (though the FCC won't admit that part). This logic however will force some markets to only have 1-3 stations (UHF only) or be without a single TV station, due to VHF traveling farther than UHF, & there's simply not enough VHF channels to issue in every market.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

All I'm saying is if you think OTA will still go all the way up to channel 51 ten years from now that's just fantasy talk. If OTA goes down to 36 or especially 30 some stations will have no choice but to use hi-VHF.

That's exactly why I'm saying that some changes to OTARD need to be made, and it would be nice if the FCC offered some "carrot on a stick" to landlords and building owners/developers, to make it easier for people to connect without having to erect multiple, large antennas on their buildings (especially MDU buildings).
I'm still not sure that those ex-TV frequencies are going to work well indoors for phones and such. If the "didn't work" for TV, how are they going to work for the new generation of phones and broadband. Maybe "boosters", but for UHF only?
post #20 of 31
It seems most current HiVHF channels just need a bit more power to better replicate the coverage areas of the 1000kw UHF channels. If some current UHF channels had to move to HiVHF, hopefully they would be allowed to increase power levels. But it is very frustrating for us folks who spent time, money, and effort upgrading our antenna systems to prepare for the DTV transition, only to have to face the prospect of doing it all over again, and with potientally less satisfactory results and loss of reception.
post #21 of 31
We have channel 13 on HIVHF that works great with an indoor antenna. I'm only 8 miles from the broadcast towers and I get a full 10 bars on my signal strength inicator. Before the DTV Transition channel 13 was on LowVHF channel 4. It skipped and broke up all the time. I was so glad when it moved to channel 13.

That being said broadcast TV shouldn't have to give up 1 mhz of spectrum to the greedy mobile broadband people. They already have 500mhz and they are only using 192 mhz.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

That being said broadcast TV shouldn't have to give up 1 mhz of spectrum to the greedy mobile broadband people. They already have 500mhz and they are only using 192 mhz.

Unfortunately, "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts" won't mean a darned thing if OTA actually does disappear.

If it does, would streaming and DVD's be enough? Would you be willing to pay any more money for that than you do now (because the cost of content and bandwidth will most likely rise, along with the popularity)?

And what if your local broadcast channels were decidedly cheaper to get from a pay TV provider than from those other sources?

Would you consider getting programming through 'illegal' methods, and risk putting your @$$ on the line?

Inquiring minds want to know.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Unfortunately, "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts" won't mean a darned thing if OTA actually does disappear.

If it does, would streaming and DVD's be enough? Would you be willing to pay any more money for that than you do now (because the cost of content and bandwidth will most likely rise, along with the popularity)?

And what if your local broadcast channels were decidedly cheaper to get from a pay TV provider than from those other sources?

Would you consider getting programming through 'illegal' methods, and risk putting your @$$ on the line?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Streaming and DVDs will be enough. I'm done with Pay TV. The only thing that is on pay TV now that I have any interest in are a few extra football games on the ESPN channels. And the college games I can get on ESPN3.com.

I have a big collection of DVDs. If streaming or OTA channels go away or get insanely expensive I still have plenty to watch and I can buy more DVDs to watch. That will be also the day I give up watching football.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

The poll is missing a choice. To Hell with expensive LD smartphones! When I go on the internet I want an HD display that is considered too big to be mobile. All I need a cheap cell phone for is to make phone calls.

Seconded!! I appreciate the fact that there are some people who REALLY love their smart phones. But personally, I have no interest in them whatsoever. All I want is a cell for making calls. I don't need a phone that allows me to surf the web, watch movies, take pictures, etc. I've got other gadgets that take care of these other things.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Based on the early poll results, a clear majority, ~64%, plan to keep their current gear as long as possible (choice #3).

1.) For those who selected choice #3, do you currently have satisfactory or sub-optimal reception?


2.) For those who currently have sub-optimal reception, what are your OTA plans?

Decent reception and all my equipment is less than a year-old anyway.
post #26 of 31
I plan on sticking with the current equipment, but upgrading depends on when I decide to purchase a new house, which will happen in the next couple of years. When I do upgrade, I plan on installing a full band VHF/UHF array.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by evan237 View Post

Seconded!! I appreciate the fact that there are some people who REALLY love their smart phones. But personally, I have no interest in them whatsoever. All I want is a cell for making calls. I don't need a phone that allows me to surf the web, watch movies, take pictures, etc. I've got other gadgets that take care of these other things.

Absolutely! There's enough distractions already with phones as it is and I don't need somebody in front of me on the road watching YouTube while changing lanes. But that's the new "generation gap". I'm connected enough as it is. I can wait to get home and check mail etc.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Absolutely! There's enough distractions already with phones as it is and I don't need somebody in front of me on the road watching YouTube while changing lanes. But that's the new "generation gap". I'm connected enough as it is. I can wait to get home and check mail etc.

Same here. I agree 100%. People doing this stuff on the road or in other places and not paying attention to what is going on around them really gets on my nerves.
post #29 of 31
I was reading the reviews of the Terk HDTVa antenna at Amazon. More people are canceling pay TV and using OTA each day.

http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified.../ref=pd_sim_e3
post #30 of 31
I heard some car commercial this morning, touting how you can "listen to any radio station in the country" while driving it.
Can't remember the brand...guess they were talking about Internet radio.
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